Freeman's Hall Theatre

134 S. State Street,
Geneseo, IL 61254

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Functions: Furniture Showroom

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Freeman's Hall Theatre

Freeman’s Block was constructed sometime before 1886. From the beginning, a hall with stage and scenery was located on the second floor, while the ground floor was used for retail. The 1905 Cahn guide lists Freeman’s Theatre with a capacity of 500.

By 1914-15, this was in use showing movies. The hall is still shown on the 1922 map, but there is no indication whether or not it was still operating as a cinema.

The building today is fairly well preserved, and is used by a furniture store.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 25, 2021 at 4:28 am

Freeman’s Hall, Pliny Freeman proprietor, is listed with 600 seats in Harry Miner’s dramatic directory for 1884-85. A book called Geneseo Centennial History 1836-1936 mentions a gathering to celebrate the opening of the town’s first library in 1881, held at Freeman’s Hall. A book with biographical sketches of some of Geneseo’s prominent citizens includes Pliny Freeman, saying that around 1869 he invested in rebuilding a commercial building his brother had owned which had been destroyed by fire that year. Though the book doesn’t specify, that might have been the building which contains Freeman’s Hall.

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